Kyren Wilson thanks local snooker club for support

Kyren Wilson on stage with his trophy at Barratts
Kyren Wilson said the club "helped me get back on my feet" [Oliver Conopo/BBC]

Snooker world champion Kyren Wilson has thanked his most dedicated fans for their support during a visit to his local club.

He told crowds gathered at Barratts in Northampton that he practised and improved his snooker skills in-between shifts at the pub "pouring all your terrible pints of lager".

The champion said: "The club really helped me, helped me get back on my feet, it was good to do the practice sessions before the bar shifts and after the bar shifts."

He said his victory at the World Snooker Championship earlier this month "still hasn't sunk in".

The 32-year-old, from nearby Kettering, took part in a question and answer session before he met fans and posed for photographs with them and the championship trophy.

Ray Hales smiling at Barratts club
Ray Hales thought Wilson was "the best player over the fortnight" [Oliver Conopo/BBC]

Ray Hales said he has built a relationship with the player when seeing him at the venue when he practices.

The 61-year-old said: "He's become a focal figure and something all the guys look up to."

Although Mr Hale thought Wilson had a "shaky period" during the championship, he was still "clearly the best player over the fortnight".

Josh Hendrickson smiling at Barratts wearing a stripy blue t-shirt
Josh Hendrickson praised Wilson for how he makes time for people from his disability snooker group [Oliver Conopo/BBC]

Josh Hendrickson runs a disability snooker group at Barratts and said the world champion regularly spoke to the players when practising.

The 34-year-old said Wilson was "just a nice bloke and super nice to our lads".

"It gives them an extra bit of confidence when they go into their disability tournaments, that they've got a world champion practising here."

Although Mr Hendrickson was thrilled with the end result he admitted watching the final was an intense watch: "I had my hands over my eyes for most of it.

"I actually woke my daughter up who was upstairs asleep and I had a text from my wife to keep it down."

David Stockwell in a beige hooded top at Barratts
David Stockwell said half the venue was full as they watched Wilson win the World Championship [Oliver Conopo/BBC]

David Stockwell said Wilson "looks after everyone well" at the club.

The 30-year-old was one of the crowd packing out Barratts to watch him in the final.

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